Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Editors and Agents...

So, the national conference is in, oh... say... two months. TWO MONTHS! And yesterday appointments to meet with editors and agents were opened up to Pros. Which would include me.

(Side note: for those of you not in the know, mainly my friends, who are thinking... holy moly, did she get published and not tell me; No, Pro is an RWA designation for those of us who have completed a manuscript and are seeking to sell it. Not everyone in RWA has done that and so they have a designation if you do. So that in instances such as editor and agent appointments, they can offer people who have a completed work earlier dibs on the appointments. Because even though you're not supposed to sign up if you don't have something complete, people do. Published authors are part of the PAN or Published Authors Network)

So I nervously logged on yesterday morning, for my very first ever attempt at getting an appointment. I had heard that it can be a real ordeal. And I was pleasantly surprised. There were quite a few spots left. I got an appointment with both an agent and an editor. And now... I think I may be sick.

Because now I have to pitch. I don't know how to pitch. I studied advertising and I still don't know how to pitch. How sad is that? I called a friend and asked if I could practice on her and she said, "Sure, wanna come over tonight?" And I replied, "Uh... No. I have to think of what I'm gonna say first. What am I gonna say?"

So, in the middle of trying to finish this blooming book, a whole new ordeal arises. How in the world am I going to pitch? Any and all advice and input is welcome... ok, it's begged for! :-)



JENNA said...

1. Breathe
2. Pitching without a script (to a friend) can help. Seriously. It forces you to condense your book to a soundbite.
3. Spill a little - which editor/agent?

Michelle said...

Hey, me too! :) WTG. Just breathe and remember that 99% of them will request a proposal even if you fall flat. Last year I had a group agent appointment and she started by inviting all of us to submit a proposal. Then she told us about her agency and we asked questions. No pitching.

With the editor, it was a nice, friendly conversation. They're great.

Karen Erickson said...

When I went to Nationals last year (but I didn't pitch - I registered waaaay too late), one of the editors told us at a workshop (Brenda Chin as a matter of fact) that she usually feels a little nervous herself. And that we should remember that they're just people, and they always love to hear a good story.

And I've heard too that they almost always request at least a partial. ;)

So try not to stress too much! And yeah, what Jenna asked - which editor/agent???

Emma Sinclair said...

A pitch is what? 10 minutes?

I think I spent 8 of them just chatting with the editor! I did no planning AT ALL and I got several requests.

Of course I sent them right after Nationals last year and I STILL haven't heard anything so...

Stacy Dawn said...

Good for you. This is a great opportunity and you'll be fantastic!!

Faith said...

Agents realize how nervous writers are, they really do. Be yourself, girl. That's the key. Just be yourself.

I've had a big time agent, and they're people just like you and me.

All will be fine.

Nicole Reising said...

Hi April! I wish I had advice but other then being your sweet self... I really don't.

Have fun! I'm sooooo excited for you!


Sue aka MsCreativity said...

Congratulations! It sounds very exciting. I'm sure everything will turn out okay.
Sorry I don't have any advice to give.
Good luck - and enjoy the moment!

April said...

Thanks so much for the advice, everyone!

The agent is Lucienne Diver with Spectrum and the editor is Sheila Hodgson.

If I can just get into my head what I want to say I'll do fine. Or, at least I'll make it through :-)

Sue aka MsCreativity said...

Sheila Hodgson? WOW!! She's the senior editor for HMB medical line. A writer friend who wrote medicals back in the 80/90s had only good things to say about her.
I am sooo excited for you!

MaryF said...

April, I remember the first few times I pitched, I was so nervous. The VERY first time, when I stood up to leave, I knocked over the chair. Oy. Still got a request for a full.

A friend of mine is repped by Lucienne and likes her very much.

Good luck!